Over at the Dating Sims On The Holodeck, TheRoyalFamily wrote an interesting post about Replaying Games. It is was just an answer to a question from a post from Kim of Later Levels about if people replay a game immediately after finishing it.
Although I'd like to say my answer was like TheRoyalFamily and that I did, indeed, replay a game immediately after finishing it I can't say with 100% conviction that I did and which games.
I can at least say what are my reasons to replay a game though.... which come to think about it might be universal. But who knows, maybe they aren't and maybe there are people with different motivations out there!
Anyway, this is what usually motivates me to play a game again from the start, after finishing it:
Different Story Routes
If I loved the story of a game and it has different story routes then I will definitely play it again to see what the other versions of the story will be. The best example of this right now is Fire Emblem Fates and Fire Emblem Three Houses.
Fire Emblem Fates is an interesting case as it was the one that broke me and made me buy a 3DS. I even decided to go with the Conquest route first since we are essentially supporting the "evil" side and I was curious to see how they would explain the character's motivations for it and then go on to defeat the obvious bad guy. They did a pretty good job in my opinion. With Birthright I felt it was more of the standard hero's journey and although there it was enjoyable it didn't do anything noteworthy in my opinion. I have still to finish this route though and play the last one, Fates.
Fire Emblem Three Houses I am still at the beginning but I am already curious about how the different routes will play out. Right now it seems a lot of it is less to do with the main character's motivations as much as the leaders of each noble House and all three seem intriguing.
But even with less hard separation between story routes I still end up doing it. One good example is Fallout: New Vegas where I played multiple times to support all of the different factions to see what kind of endings they would bring. I also find it interesting that New Vegas still found a good way to explain why near the end of the game we could switch sides and go join one of the other factions if we felt like it. 🙂
This also applies to character alignments, specially in games like the Bioware ones. My first go-to tend to be the goody two-shoes as they feel the more natural and intended experience for me. Then on subsequent playthroughs I go the evil route just to poke at the game and see what kind of things I can get away with and how much the story breaks or not because of it.
Different Gameplay Mechanics
This one is more for games that are purely about the mechanics like strategy games and MMOs.
The Civilization series being the prime example of it as they try to give each civilization some gimicky to set them apart from the others and make it easier to attain certain victory conditions.
Stellaris is also another good example though each specie gimicks seems to be a lot less set in stone as you can change your species traits and even culture during a session through science or certain events.
Although I still have to finish my first playthrough of it I still want to play with other different species and forms of government just to see what the other options are (plus I already set my current species on a certain evolutionary path too)
This is more for Bethesda games as modding their games can change it dramatically or just make the experience much nicer. Morrowind was the first one in the series where I got to experience with mods and it opened my eyes to the power of it when done properly.
Since then my pattern with Bethesda-developed games has been to try to finish it first, unmoded, to see what parts of it I don't like and could be improved. Then to mod it as much as I can to not only make the experience more enjoyable but also to add things that I didn't even know I wanted but adds a lot to the experience.
The only other game I can remember looking out for mods was Neverwinter Nights. Although the mods were more like new adventures instead of changing the main game like in the Elder Scrolls series, there were a few that were quite fun to play.
I also try to experiment a bit with mods with Civilization 5 but outside of an UI mod that made it easier to see info I didn't find any that were truly interesting or memorable.
This is probably the weakest of all my motivations. There are certain games that do require multiple playthroughs to get them. Fortunately I am not much of an achievement hunter so I usually only do this if the achievements seems relatively easy to get and the game is so fun that I wouldn't mind playing it again just to get them.
The best example of it is Persona 5 which I started a second playthrough just to get the last couple achievements that ca only be obtained by going through the game a second time.
Some times playing something that is known and relaxing is exactly what I need. In fact I kind of wrote about this a long time ago. Hm. Looking at that post it is pretty different than what I remembered. Maybe it should be a topic to revisit soon and give an update on how things are now.
Those are all the reasons that tend to motivate me to play a game through multiple times. Most of the time though it is a mixture of them. For example, Bloodlines has different endings depending on your choices and each clan has very distinctive powers. Not to mention Nosferatu and Malkavian who are pretty much unique experiences. 🙂
What motivates you to play replay a game? 🙂